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In September, I began to assist sole proprietors and small businesses with the West Virginia Small Business CARES Act grants (businesses affected negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic). By the grant deadline date of Sept. 30th, I had assisted 68 businesses with their grants.

Throughout this project, I interacted many times with government employees through the Governor’s Office, the West Virginia State Grant Helpline and many other state agencies. I want readers to know that every state employee I interacted with was professional, polite and helpful. Every one of them was as committed as I was in trying to help our small businesses receive their grants.

As the agent for the businesses, I interacted with the following state employees: Terra Oliver, Joan Chapman, Mark Totten, Casey Parsons, Sarah Smith, Sharon Chapman, Matthew Eshenaur, Stephanie Kirk, Sydney Durbin, Mary Lipford and Nora Dagile.

They all are dedicated government employees who helped me help businesses to receive their grants. After enough conversations, I realized this was not just a requirement of their jobs but, like me, was a passion to help our small businesses.

The next time you interact with West Virginia government employees, remember that they are West Virginians who care about other West Virginians.

Terri Reed Cutright